The Role of Institutions in Resolving Research Misconduct Claims
Federal funding agencies typically rely on institutions to take action in cases of research misconduct. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent misconduct before it occurs. Good mentoring is the best way to prevent misconduct from happening. The government is legally required to disclose the identity of anyone who commits misconduct. For example, the United States federal funding agencies rely on institutions to investigate research misconduct claims.
The most serious forms of research misconduct are physical control, coercion, and manipulation. Less serious forms of abuse include undue influence, prejudice, and disrespect. Researchers should not leak data to the public. They must also ensure the safety and well-being of their subjects. Once a study has been completed, it should remain within the organization that funded it.
An investigation will determine whether disciplinary action is necessary. If sanctions are warranted, the Dean of Research will refer the final report to the appropriate University official. Any sanction will be notified by the University to the dean and respondent. Any sanctions imposed on the respondent by the disciplinary body must be provided to the dean.
A researcher could be disciplined if the ORI investigates. In certain cases, the ORI can consult with other agencies and refer an investigation to the appropriate investigative body. Institutions involved in research misconduct may be subject to administrative sanctions by the HHS.
Research misconduct must always be reported in good faith. The University must protect the complainant as well as those who testify or take part in the investigation. The investigation must be thorough and documented. The respondent should have the opportunity to present their evidence, and to consult with counsel. If a complaint is confirmed, the University should protect the complainant from retaliation.
The Department of Health and Human Services is the ultimate regulator for research misconduct in the United States. It has the right to conduct investigations and inquiries to ensure the integrity of all research supported by the PHS. Institutions are also responsible for protecting research integrity and safeguarding the integrity of all PHS funded work.
Upon receiving a complaint, the RIO must decide whether the respondent has committed research misconduct. This decision must be documented in writing and include the rationale behind the decision. The RIO must inform the funding agency of the findings. The decision should be made within 60 days of the notification.
The RIO must appoint an Advisory Committee. The dean or designee must consult the committee, and the committee must be charged with reviewing the research misconduct claim. The letter must describe the nature of the research misconduct allegation and the Advisory Committee’s role during the investigation. The committee must also provide the respondent with a copy of the letter.
NEH staff members should inform the director of the relevant division, or Office of Grant Management, if they become aware of any allegations of misconduct in research. In some cases, the NEH may conduct its own investigation. In other cases, the grantee institution will notify NEH of the findings. In some cases, the lead agency will also notify other relevant agencies.